Thursday 28 February 2019 3:33 AM UTC
Thiruvananthapuram Feb 28: The state government has convened an all-party meeting on March 14 to discuss the issue of regulating hartals.
The meeting, in which leaders of both ruling and opposition parties are expected to participate, would be held at the conference hall of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the Secretariat here, an official statement said here Tuesday.
The Chief Minister had recently assured the state assembly that an all-party meeting would be called against the frequent hartals, it said.
When legislators had pointed to the widespread violence during the back to back hartals called in connection with the Sabarimala women’s entry issue, Vijayan had informed the House that his government was open to discuss the matter with political parties.
The Kerala High Court had on January 7 banned calling of flash hartals and had said a seven day notice was mandatory for declaring hartals.
The court had issued the order while hearing a petition moved by the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Thrissur-based NGO ‘Malayala vedi against hartals’ against shutdowns in the state.
Condemning the practice of calling flash strikes, a division bench of the court had observed that if prior notice was not given,people can approach the court and the government can take adequate measures to deal with the situation.
In their petition, the chamber alleged that Kerala witnessed 97 strikes in 2018, which affected business and the livelihood of people, leading to huge economic loss.
In December, over 35 trade organisations came together against rampant strike calls by various political parties in the state and decided to observe 2019 as an ‘anti-hartal year’.
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